‘Have life, and have it abundantly’ John 10:10
Sherborne is a Christian school. So while we welcome boys from other faith backgrounds, and those with no religious faith, our educational values are grounded in two central tenets of Christianity.
The first is that we are all created as unique and valuable by God for a purpose. We should therefore treat each other as such, and support each other in fulfilling our God-given potential.
The second is that we are created for relationship and therefore need to consider our relationship with God, our world and one another. This is, after all, the central Gospel message: that God loved his creation so much that he was willing to sacrifice his son in order to have a relationship with us.
Spiritual Education is about enabling our young people to reach their full potential, to help them discover what in life will make them, in Jesus’ words, ‘have life, and have it abundantly’.
This is not confined to examination or co-curricular success. Having life abundantly includes understanding the way in which we relate to each other and to our world. It involves learning to discern the difference between truth and falsehood, and it encourages us to challenge the young so they have the tools to look critically at society, and live by a distinctive set of virtues.
Every morning at Sherborne begins with an assembly or a chapel service. On a Wednesday evening we go as a whole school to the Abbey for a service of Compline or Evensong, and we meet there again on a Sunday night for Evening Prayer. Then, on a Friday evening boys can opt to come to a candlelight Eucharist at 9pm in the school chapel.
Our hope is that in these moments of corporate worship, the boys learn to value stillness, and come together in a sacred space where they can reflect on and pray about their common life, and those in need.
Spirituality at Sherborne isn’t just about attending chapel. All of our staff encourage by example, so that boys develop an appreciation of the values by which we are called to live, in every aspect of the school’s life.
This is supported by other activities, such as those of the Christian Union, Crossfire, and by inviting boys to share their own stories with one another, perhaps by preaching in a service. In addition, it finds expression through the pastoral care that each boy offers to the other – one of the greatest strengths of our full-boarding environment.
By enshrining spirituality in all that we do as a school community, we provide a strong foundation on which to develop the minds and souls of the young into the minds and souls of men.
The Reverend Lindsay Collins BD, AKC, MTh